Heifer International offers young entrepreneurs chance to pitch investment, mentoring

Heifer International’s AYuTe Africa Challenge has launched a new national competition, offering young entrepreneurs in Nigeria the opportunity to pitch for investment in their agritech solutions to boost the incomes and productivity of Africa’s smallholder farmers.

According to Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President of Africa Programs at Heifer International, the competition provides an opportunity for young innovators in Nigeria to secure the funding and visibility they need to scale up their agritech solutions to reach millions of farmers across Africa.

“There is huge potential for economic growth and employment in agriculture across Africa, but new ideas and technologies are urgently needed. It’s time for Africa’s tech-savvy youth to use their innovation skills to transform the sector.”

The new AYuTe National Champions competition focuses on youth-operated local startups that have launched an agritech business in the last three years.

Speaking on the competition, Heifer’s Country Director, Rufus Idris said it is to further identify, nurture and support innovative, relevant and technology-driven agriccentric enterprises to grow, scale and thrive.

“We are excited to announce and kick-start the AYuTe Africa Challenge Nigeria with a starting cash grant of $20,000 to the most promising young agritech innovator in Nigeria. This is in line with Heifer’s strategic goal of unleashing the hidden agricultural treasures among African youths.

Speaking earlier at the launch event, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abiola Olusanya commended Heifer International for the great initiative of assisting to drive growth and development of Agriculture across Africa and particularly in Nigeria, by encouraging innovation and supporting programs geared towards accelerating agritech startups, youth-owned agribusinesses, and other business stakeholders along the agriculture value chain.

She expressed optimism that the initiative will serve as a catalyst for economic development in Nigeria and secure a greater future for the Nation.